The nation has still not come to terms with the sudden departure of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who passed away while giving a speech at IIM-Shillong. Srijan Pal Singh, Kalam’s advisor in a heart warming post has documented his last moments he took resort to social media to voice out his sorrow.
As social media was flooded with quotes and other memories, an innocuous post by him was perhaps the most insightful one in the last days of the former president. Singh, an adviser to Kalam, was on the stage with him in Shillong when he collapsed and was taken to hospital. In his heart warming and moving post he documented his last conversation with him.
Conversation on their way to Shillong:
Singh in his post articulated the conversation that took place between them and how at length they spoke about the national issues that were affecting the nation. He was also of the view that mankind may have to leave earth in 30 years and advised Singh that the future generation needed to take better care of it.
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He talked about his worry over the Gurdaspur attacks, the loss of lives left his hear filled with sorrow. The topic of lecture at IIM Shillong was ‘Creating a Livable Planet Earth’. He related the incident to the topic and said, “it seems the man made forces are as big a threat to the livability of earth as pollution”. We discussed on how, if this trend of violence, pollution and reckless human action continues we will be forced to leave earth. “Thirty years, at this rate, maybe”, he said. “You guys must do something about it… it is going to be your future world”
Student’s should never be made to wait:
The punctual President was not keen on making his audience wait, unlike the rest of his stature would, he knew the meaning of time being precious and not a single moment should be wasted.
“Students should never be made to wait”, he always said. Singh quickly set up his mike, briefed on final lecture, he confirms in his post.
“Funny guy! Are you doing well?”
As he was about to begin his yet another inspirational speech, Singh sensed something strange and asked him in his own coy manner if he was doing well. “Yes” were his last words he said. Two minutes into the speech, Singh was sitting behind him he heard a long pause after completing one sentence and then collapsed on the floor.
What Kalam wanted to be remembered for
As Singh skimmed through his last precious moments with the Kalam, all he could recall was the one conversation that got his heart kindled.
“You are young, decide what you would like to be remembered for?” I asked him back, “First you tell me, what will you like to be remembered for? President, Scientist, Writer, Missile man, India 2020, Target 3 billion…. What?” I thought I had made the question easier by giving options, but he sprang on me a surprise. “Teacher”, he said.
Life is surely a learning process and not many are as lucky as Srijan who have mentor like Kalam.
On ending his post, he said “The man is gone, the mission lives on. Long live Kalam.”
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